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and was born on a farm about twelve Danish
miles from Copenhagen. His father was a
farmer, and both his parents are still living
(1899) in Denmark. He is the third of a family
of nine children, all of whom reached adult age,
and only one of whom has passed away.

Rasmuss Jensen, as did the other boys of the
neighborhood in which he was reared, received
his early education at the common schools. At
the age of fourteen years he began life's battle
for himself, and when he was twenty-two years
old he turned his back upon birthplace and kin-



dred and set his face toward the western world.
He came at once to Chicago, after reaching this
country, and here he turned his hand readily to
any work that presented itself. It is unnecessary
to add that his labor was not usually of the
easiest description, hod carrying and coal shovel-
ing being among his first occupations. In 1887
he began to learn the business of a stationary
engineer, and being apt, sober and industrious,
soon qualified himself. He still follows this pur-
suit, having been for the past five years employed
as an engineer by Armour & Company.

He married Miss Christina Jorgensen in 1891.
She is a countrywoman of his, but was a resident
of Chicago at the time of her marriage. The



ALBERT NIELSEN. GUSTAVE OLSON.



729



issue of the marriage has been three children,
Elizabeth, Ida and Rosa.

Mr. Jensen is a member of Lodge No. 35, of the
Danish Brotherhood, and was at one time presid-
ing officer of D'Orlen Lodge No. 35, of which



organization he is one of the organizers and char-
ter members. He is of a social disposition,
affable, courteous and liberal. Among his fellow-
countrymen in Chicago he is at once esteemed
and popular.



ALBERT NIELSEN.



Gl LBERT NIELSEN is the son of Niels Jor-
LJ gensen and Maren Johnson, of Fyen, Den-
/ I mark, where he himself was born March 14,
1863. Niels Jorgensen is a musician of consider-
able local celebrity, and served in the army in
that capacity during the war of 1864. In 1893
he crossed the water to visit the World's Fair at
Chicago, where he played in an orchestra. He
returned to his native land in 1895, and is yet
living, having been the leader of a band at
Odense. Mrs. Jorgensen died in 1890. She
bore her husband twelve children, all of whom
reached mature years, and eight are yet living
(1899). Peter is a miner in Australia. John is
in the employ of Armour & Company, of Chi-
cago. Carl is a composer of music for the King's
Opera Company, at Copenhagen. Andrew is a
painter and decorator at No. 34 University Place,
Chicago. Louisa and Julia are also residents of
Chicago, the former being the wife of Mr. Peter-



sen, of No. 196 West Chicago Avenue, a foreman
in the repair department of the Lyon & Healy
Company. Torwald lives with Mr. Nielsen.

Mr. Albert Nielsen is the third child born to
his parents. At the age of fourteen years he
was taken from school and sent to learn the trade
of a painter but was permitted to attend school in
the evenings. While yet very young he devel-
oped a surprising fondness and capacity for art,
and for a time was a student at the Art School at
Copenhagen. For nine months he did duty as a
soldier, and in 1884 came to the United States,
settling in Chicago. For six years he worked as
a house decorator, and at the end of that time
began business as a portrait painter, which pro-
fession he has followed ever since, with marked
success. He not only conducts business on his
own account, but his recognized artistic skill
brings him many orders from other Chicago
firms.



GUSTAVE OLSON.



OLSON, who was born in Skane,
I Sweden, December 7, 1869, is the son of
U Olof Person, a native of the same county,
by occupation a farmer. Olof Person is a well-



known citizen of his country, and though some-
what advanced in years is still engaged in tilling
the soil. The name of the mother of the subject
of this sketch was Aserine Steudecker before her



73



H. S. PETERSEN.



marriage. She is still living in her native land.
Mr. and Mrs. Person are the parents of nine
children, of whom Gustave is the fourth. Five of
these children are living.

Mr. Olson grew to manhood in his native
country and attended the public schools until
thirteen years of age. He assisted his father on
the farm until he was eighteen years old, when
he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, with whom
he served three years. In the year 1891, at the
age of twenty-one years, he settled in Chicago,
where he worked as a journeyman smith until
the spring of 1899. He then formed a partner-
ship with Peder Erickson, and opened a horse-
shoeing shop at No. 370 Twenty-fourth Street.
On September i, following, Mr. Olson purchased
his partner's interest, and is now sole proprietor
of the establishment.

Mr. Olson has a deep interest in fraternal



societies and has devoted a large part of his time
to the acquirement of the mysteries of the secret
society, in several of which he has become a
prominent and leading member. He became a
member of John Erickson Lodge No. 361, Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, of Illinois, in
1892. He has filled all the chairs in the subor-
dinate lodge, and was representative to the
Grand Lodge in 1895. He was captain of the
degree staff for three years, from which he re-
signed in 1899 on account of the demands of his
business. In 1896 he became a member of the
Knights of Pythias and takes an active interest
in that order. He also holds membership in the
Odd Fellows Encampment and Rebekah degree,
where he is prominent. He is independent in
politics, preferring to vote for the men he has
confidence in rather than to follow the lead of any
party.



HANS S. PETERSEN.



NANS SMITH PETERSEN has been a resi-
dent of Chicago since 1887, when he emi-
grated to this country from Denmark, where
he was born August i, 1865, having entered the
world in Jutland. His father, Rasnien Petersen,
was a tailor and is still engaged in that trade
in his native land, where he enjoys the un-
alloyed respect due to his advanced age and the
reputation which he has gained through a long
life of unquestionable honesty. Mr. Petersen' s
mother is also yet living. Her maiden name was
Caroline Smith. All the five sons and two
daughters 'born to this couple (whose well run
race is now, in the ordinary course of nature,
Hearing its goal) are yet living. Hans S. is the
oldest son and second child. His next youngest
brother, Hallen, who is a baker by trade, works
for him at his place at No. 3638 State Street.



Another brother, Skor, is a laundry man. A sis-
ter, Katherine, is the wife of Thomas Kniner,
of Denmark. The remaining children live at
home.

The first twenty-two years of Mr. Petersen's
life were passed in Demark. He left school at the
age of sixteen years, and for five years worked
for a grocer, receiving but slender compensation,
being virtually an apprentice. For eight months
he served in the army and for nine months was a
grocer's clerk. Then at the age of twenty-two
he came to America, reaching Chicago in 1887,
with but nine dollars in his pocket. For a period
of nine months after his arrival he worked on
a farm in Blue Island, for ten dollars per month.
After coming back to Chicago his experience was
decidedly varied; he was by turns a dish-washer
in a restaurant, an assistant bridge-tender at Clark



CHRISTIAN THORSMARK.-L. H. HOLDT.



Street, an employe of Andrew Olsen in the coal
and wood business and the driver of a laundry
wagon for George Falkenberg. He was engaged
in the pursuit last named for some six years, and
in 1896 entered the employ of A. Burkhard, with
whom he still remains.

In 1 894 he purchased the bakery business then
being conducted at No. 3630 State Street, and
began to do his own baking. In 1899 he changed
his location to his present quarters, at No. 3638



State Street, where he also carries on a confec-
tionery business. He gives the establishment his
personal attention only during the evening, as
has been said, being employed during the day.

Seven years ago (in 1892), he married Chris-
tine Nansen, choosing for his wife, a lady from
his native land. Mr. and Mrs. Petersen have
three children, Christina, Walter and Lillie. He
has been a member of the Walhalla Society since
1889, and also belongs to a singing society.



CHRISTIAN THORSMARK.



CHRISTIAN THORSMARK, the youngest
1 1 of the four children of Peter and Maria
U (Langelund) Thorsmark, was born in Bau-
lund, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, May 24,
1866. His father was a farmer, and died at the
age of sixty-three years. His mother attained
the age of fifty-six years.

Christian Thorsmark attended school until he
was fourteen years of age. In 1889, being then
twenty-three years of age, he emigrated to Amer-
ica and settled in Chicago, where he was first em-
ployed on the streets, about Prairie Avenue. Fol-
lowing this he was a coachman for three years,
working for Andrew Skau, in the livery business,
for a time. In 1897 he engaged in the milk and
cream business, on Vernon Avenue, where he
remained two years. He then removed to No. 1 28
Twenty-ninth Street, where he is now located.
In 1896 Mr. Thorsmark married Clara Thomp-



son, a daughter of David and Sarah (Saunders)
Thompson, who was born in Fountain, Indiana,
June 10, 1871. At the age of three years she
removed west, with her parents, and has been a
resident of Chicago since 1890. Mr. Thorsmark
has been a member of the Walhalla Danish So-
ciety since 1890.

The population of all American cities is made
up largely of citizens who were raised in the
country, many of them being of foreign birth
and speaking a strange language. Mr. Thors-
mark is one of these. Born and raised on a farm
where the hours are long and toilsome, he early
learned the value of time and money, and that a
penny saved is a penny earned. He made a
practical use of his knowledge.- Starting in pov-
erty, with nothing but a strong will and sturdy
arms, he has slowly worked his way upward to
the point where success seems assured.



LARS H. HOLDT.



I ARS H. HOLDT. This well-known and sketches of whom appear elsewhere in this

1C highly respected young business man of volume.

l~) the south division of the city is a brother Lars H. Holdt was born in Schleswig-Holstein

of John P. and Jacob H. Holdt, biographical on October 7, 1867. He was the second son and



732



H. P. CLAUSEN.



fifth child of his parents. For a more detailed
account of his family relations the reader is re-
ferred to the narrative history of his brothers,
above mentioned. He left school at the age of
fourteen years, and worked on a farm until he
was twenty-three years old, when he resolved to
emigrate to America. He crossed the ocean in
1891, and came from the sea coast directly to
Chicago.

His first situation was that of a coachman and
he continued in that walk of life until 1894, when
he engaged in the milk business on his own ac-



count. His first venture in this line was under-
taken at No. 3013 Prairie Avenue. From that
location he moved to No. 2914 Vernon Avenue,
and from thence to No. 3816 Aldine Place, and
later to his present place of business, at No.
3619 Indiana Avenue. He is unmarried. En-
ergy, perseverance and frugality have been the
cornerstones of his success, and his outlook for
the future is bright. For eight years he has
been a member of the Walhalla Society, and was
at one time connected with the Knights of the
Maccabees.



HENRY P. CLAUSEN.



HENRY PETER CLAUSEN. The gentle-
man whose name appears at the head of
this brief sketch was born in Sonderbule,
Schlasvig, Jutland, January i, 1867. His fa-
ther, Henry Clausen, was a native of the same
place; by trade a painter, but engaged in busi-
ness for himself, and is still actively and pros-
perously engaged in the same line of work in the
land of his birth. He is a man of prominence
and repute, and has a distinguished military
record, having served in the wars of 1866 and
1871. Mr. Clausen's mother, whose maiden
name was Louisa Nissen, was also born in Jut-
land, but passed away in 1868, while scarcely
more than thirty-two years of age. Mr. Clausen
is the youngest of their four children, the others
being Harman, who died in Jutland; and Louisa
and Wilhelmina, who are still living in the old
country.

Mr. Clausen's mother died when he was but
eight years old, but his boyhood was well cared
for. Until he reached the age of fifteen years he
attended school, but then necessity compelled
him to seek some employment through which he
might later battle with the world. For four



years he was a butcher's apprentice, and, after
reaching the prescribed age for military service,
entered the army as a private soldier, serving
three years.

In 1890 he came to America, where so many
of his countrymen, through industry, thrift and
perseverance, had bettered their fortunes. Im-
mediately upon landing he took transportation
for Chicago, which city has ever since been his
home. He began his career in the humble capa-
city of a hostler. With the toil and compensa-
tion he was content for four years. By economy
and patience he saved money, and in 1894 he
was able to open a boarding and livery stable of
his own. His beginning was made on the site of
his present establishment, Nos. 3133-39 South
Park Avenue, but it has steadily grown, and he
has materially added, year by year, not only to
the capacity of the stable, but also to his own in-
come. He owes his surprising success to pluck
and perseverance, integrity and industry.

In March, 1891, he became the husband of a
Danish maiden, named Christina Nielsen. Three
children have been born to them, Louisa, Claus
and Anna. Mr. Clausen is an active and promi-



JENS NIELSEN. ANDREW SKAU.



733



nent member of Walhalla, of the Verein Dents-
chen, Waffauhassael of Chicago, and takes an
especial interest in the society last named. He



is affable, sociable and generous, widely known
and highly esteemed among his fellow-citizens,
of both native and foreign descent.



JENS NIELSEN.



(lENS NIELSEN is a native of Denmark,
I having been born in the town of Als, Jut-
G/ land, July 12, 1867. While he has barely
completed his thirty-second year, he has already
achieved success, besides winning for himself an
enviable reputation in the city which he has
chosen for hjs home.

Both his parents sleep in the quiet churchyard
of the little village of Als, where they were born
and battled with the world, and where they died,
his father at the age of fifty and his mother in her
fifty-seventh year. His father, Niels C. Nielsen,
was a laborer; his mother's name before marriage
was Carrie Jensen. Jens was one of four children
born to this couple, only two of whom are living.
The first twenty-two years of his life were
spent in his native country. Until he reached
the age of fourteen years he attended school, and
after that he worked upon the farm, under condi-
tions which American laborers would regard as,



to say the least, decidedly disadvantageous. In
1889 he determined to learn the best or the worst
which a strange country might have in store for
him. He came to America and directed his steps
straight from the seaboard to Chicago. On reach-
ing this city he found life far from being a para-
dise. His first employment was as a hod carrier;
but he was afraid of no honest toil and cheerfully
carried bricks up the narrow planks to the skilled
artisan who laid them in their course. Yet he
persevered and since 1893 he has continued in
business as a coal dealer at his original location,
No. 3852 Armour Avenue, his trade gradually in-
creasing and his prosperity growing, year after
year. He has never married.

He is an active member of the Danish Brother-
hood and prominent in its councils, having been
vice-president of Lodge No. 35 for some two
years. He is also a member of the Young Peo-
ple's Society of Pleasure.



ANDREW SKAU.



NDREW SKAU is one of the best known
and most highly respected Danish-Ameri-
cans of Chicago, where he has lived for
eighteen years. He is the second child of Christ
Fritz Skau and his wife, Anna B. Andersen, and
was born in Bedsted, Schleswig, Denmark, Jan-



uary 7, 1854. His father, who was a laborer,
was born in 1817, and died in his native place, at
the age of seventy-seven years. His mother died
in her seventy-third year. Of the five children
of this couple, three attained maturity.

Andrew Skau was educated in the public



734



H. G. KIRCHHOFF.



schools, which he attended until he was fifteen
years old. He then began working as a farm
hand, which occupation he followed until he en-
tered the army at the age of twenty years. His
term of military service was two years, and on its
completion he returned to farming. In 1881 he
determined to emigrate to America, and bidding
adieu to parents and Fatherland, he set out for
Chicago, a city of which he knew little but had
heard much, and where he was destined to
achieve that success which rightfully belongs to
men of brain and nerve, of energy and probity.
For the first eighteen months after reaching Chi-
cago he worked in a lath factory, and in 1884 he
opened a livery and boarding stable at No. 2814
Calumet Avenue. From there he removed to
No. 2843 Indiana Avenue and thence to No. 128



Thirtieth Street, and later to No. 159, on the
same thoroughfare. He remained at the last
mentioned location five years, when he made an-
other removal, taking possession of the premises
in the rear of No. 3020 Calumet Avenue, which
he still occupies.

In 1883 he was married to Anna Maria Holdt,
who came from Denmark to America on the
same vessel with himself. Four sons and a
daughter have been born to them: Christian
Fritz, Niels, Anna, Charles and George. The
eldest is in the employ of Madigan Brothers, dry
goods merchants.

Mr. vSkau is a member of the Walhalla Society,
having joined that organization while it was in
its infancy, and of the Independent Order of For-
esters.



HENRY G. KIRCHHOFF.



HENRY GEORGE KIRCHHOFF. The gen-
tleman whose name appears above is a son
of Henry Kirchhoff, in whose biography the
reader may find an interesting account of his
genealogical and collateral family connections.
He was born July 19, 1866, in Leyden Township,
Cook County, and shortly after leaving school,
in 1886, he went to work for the well-known
wholesale paper house of Thomas Brothers, now
of Nos. 96-98 West Randolph Street, but former-
ly of Nos. 43-45 West Lake Street. He entered
their employ as a driver, and continued in that
capacity for six months. From this position he
was promoted to be shipping clerk, and in 1893
was given a position as city salesman. He is
still with the same firm, and their estimate of his
worth may be judged from the fact that in the
course of twelve years he has risen from so
humble a position to become one of their confi-
dential and most trusted employes.



April 9, 1888, Mr. Kirchhoff was married to
Miss Grace Katerbau, who was born in Chicago,
June 14, 1867. They have one child, Herbert
Matthew, born December 10, 1889. His home
is one of refinement, suited to the tastes and pur-
suits of a Christian gentleman, as Mr. Kirchhoff
is recognized to be by all who have the honor of
his acquaintance, and by none so thoroughly as
by those who know him best. The residence is
one of the finest in the handsome suburb of
Franklin Park.

His fellow-townsmen, recognizing his personal
and civic worth, have shown him many marks of
their confidence and esteem. He was director of
school district No. 9, in Leyden Township, from
1893 to 1896, and has been a member of the
Board of Village Trustees since 1895, having
been chosen President in 1899.

He is a member of Franklin Park Council No.
107, of the Royal League. He is also connected



MARTIN HANSEN. W. H. KIRCHHOFF.



735



with several fraternal organizations in the city of
Chicago: the Royal Arcanum, Council No. 1,540
of Ben Hur, and Council No. 26 of the North
American Union.



has been prominent in church and charitable work
and is an active member of the Young People's
Society of Christian Endeavor. In social pleas-
ures he finds much enjoyment, and in the social



In politics Mr. Kirchhoffisa Republican. He life of Franklin Park he is one of the leaders.



MARTIN HANSEN.



iy/1 ARTIN HANSEN is a native of Haden-lev,
I V I North Schleswig, Denmark, as were also
l(y| his parents. He was born November i,
1866, and is one of a family of three daughters
and three sons born to James and Christina
(Scott) Hansen, being the youngest sou and the
fifth in order of birth. His father was an express-
man by occupation, and died in the land of his
birth, at the age of sixty-one years. Mrs. Han-
sen, Senior, is still living and makes her home at
Lake View, Iowa.

Martin Hausen left school when he was four-
teen years old and for the next three years
worked in a grocery store. In 1883, when but a
boy of seventeen, he bade adieu to his native
shores and to his kindred, to venture for him-
self in a strange land. Immediately on reaching
America he set out for Chicago. Here he first
found employment as a coach driver, and con-



tinued to follow that pursuit until, through in-
dustry, sobriety and thrift, he had accumulated
sufficient capital to enable him to embark in the
coal, wood and feed business. In this line of trade
he has since continued, his present place of busi-
ness being located at No. 3454 Halsted Street.

He was married January 4, 1888, to a Danish
lady who came to this country at about the same
time as himself, Miss Hannah Christensen, who
was at the time of their union a resident of Chi-
cago. She has borne him two daughters, Jennie
and Mabel.

Mr. Hansen was among the earliest members
of the order of Walhalla, and has always taken
an active part in promoting the interests of the
organization. He is a member of Faith Mission,
a Baptist society, with house of worship near his
home. He supports the political principles of the
Republican party.



W. H. KIRCHHOFF.



P QlLLIAM H. KIRCHHOFF, a son of Henry Franklin Park. A course of training at the pub-

\ A I Kirchhoff, was born January 24, 1868, lie schools was supplemented "by a course at

VV within the walls of the old homestead in Bryant & Stratum's Business College in Chicago,

L,eyden Township, now a part of the village of and in 1887 he entered upon the real work of



73 6



PETER LAWSON.



life as an employe of the L.H. Thomas Company,
at Rogers Park, Illinois. In 1889 he resigned
his position with that concern to connect himself
with the Davis Sewing Machine Company, in
whose employ he continued about three years.
The year following his leaving the Davis Com-
pany was passed in the service of the Machinists'
Supply Company as correspondent, and during
the next five years he was assistant purchasing
agent for the Crane Company.

His next move was in the direction of starting
in business on his own account. He became one
of the organizers of the Steel & Iron Metal Coat-
ing Company, of West Chicago, of which com-
pany he was made treasurer. The company has
a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars and a
plant located at West Chicago, Illnois. It con-
trols some valuable patents for the coating of iron



and steel with an aluminum alloy, and enjoys the
distinction of being the only concern of the kind
in the world.

Mr. Kirchhoff was married to Miss Alice Mar-
garet Martens, October 22, 1893. She was born
in Chicago September 14, 1873. For detailed ac-
count of Mrs. KirchhofPs parentage and family
connections see sketch of her father, Henry Mar-
tens. Three children were born to them: Eleanor
Alice, July 3, 1894; William Martens, May 26,
1897; and Elizabeth Louise, on the 5th of Decem-
ber, 1898.

Mr. KirchhofPs religious affiliation is with
the Methodist Episcopal Church of Franklin
Park; in his political creed is a Republican. He
is a member of Court America, No. 873, United
Order of Foresters, Chicago, and of Franklin
Park Council, No. 107, Royal League.



PETER LAWSON.



F^ETER LAWSON, at one time in command
LX of Engine Company No. 70, is one of Chica-
[S go's life residents. He also enjoys the en-
viable distinction of having earned an honorable
record as a fireman, through thirty years of .un-
selfish, gallant and heroic service. It is difficult
to bestow too high encomium upon the mere risk
of personal safety, home, happiness, life itself,
through devotion to duty and paramount anxiety
to save the lives of others. It is of this class



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 109 of 111)